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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Turkish Beef and Cabbage Stew - Kapuska

Kapuska is a Russian word, as it is the etymology for the word cabbage.  However, language is give and take.  This is definitely a Turkish recipe.  It can be adapted for vegetarian or vegan diets, by substituting the beef or lamb for tofu, bulgur, TVP, etc. 



1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb ground beef or lamb

1 medium green cabbage, cored and chopped

2+ tablespoons good tomato paste (try some Turkish brands!)

2+ tsp Turkish Baharat (or your favourite combination of cumin, coriander, pepper, etc)

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tsp dried pepper flakes

2 tablespoons butter plus a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste,

2 cups beef or chicken broth

Optional:  chopped red peppers


Set a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat and melt the butter and olive oil.  Cook the chopped onion until soft, stirring.  Brown the ground beef and then add the tomato paste, spices, and salt.  Stir and cook for at least a minute.  Add the cabbage and the broth.  Stir, cover the pot, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft and tender.  

Enjoy with bread, rice, or potatoes.


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Syrian Beet Dip (Mutabal Shawander)

This lovely vegan Syrian beet dip is so easy to prepare, and with wonderful results. The beets and garlic are from Slow River Gardens. A few ingredients put this together for dipping with breads or vegetables. 

Mutabal Shawander 

1 lb beets, scrubbed
1 head garlic 
Olive oil, for roasting and blending 
~1 tsp salt +\-
1/4 cup tahini 
Juice of a lemon 

Cover beets and garlic in foil, with a little olive oil. Roast at 350°F until soft.   Pu all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill, add serve with vegetables or breads. 

Monday, August 07, 2023

Zucchini/Patty pan Bhujias

This tasty snack is a lovely, crispy way to enjoy zucchini. This vegan and gluten-free snack is wonderful with Imli, a sweet and mildly spiced tamarind dip.

Zucchini Bhujias

1 cup shredded, medium sized zucchini (or patty pan squash)

2 thinly sliced onions

1/2 cup Besan (chick pea flour)

1 tbs rice flour (optional, for a crispier bhujia)

1 tsp grated ginger

1-2 finely chopped green chilies

1/2 tsp cumin 

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chat masala (tangier than garam masala, but can also be used) 

 salt, to tastes

oil, for frying


Mix all of the ingredients together and let rest.  If the batter is too moist, add some more besan flour.  

Heat enough oil in a pan to surround the bhujias.  Gently drop bhujias as small patties into the oil, as seen in the photos.  

Cook on both sides until crispy.  Enjoy with Imli!


Saturday, June 24, 2023

Chicken Shwarma

 Chicken Shwarma is wonderful year round, but quite delightful in Summer, when you prepare it yourself and with fresh pita, caçik (tzatziki) with fresh mint and dill, pickled sumac onions, and hot sauce  

Chicken Shwarma

(Serves 4)

8 skinned chicken thighs, bone in or boneless 

1-2 tbs Turkish Baharat or Duq’qah

1 chopped onion

1 tsp salt

3-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

Good drizzle olive oil 

2-3 tbs lemon juice 

In a small blender, mix the Duq’qah or Turkish Baharat, chopped onion, salt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil. Skin the chicken thighs and let marinate, in the fridge, for a few hours. 

Fry or grill until fully cooked. Enjoy with pita bread and tzatziki. 

Friday, June 09, 2023

Jerk Chicken, with Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

I really enjoy Jerk, as the flavour profile for chicken, fish or seafood, etc. This recipe is very versatile, and easy to prepare. Locally made 1882 Fruit-Based Hot Sauce, makes a delicious balance of flavours. 

1. Jamaican Jerk marinade

1 tbs Ground Allspice

1 tbs dried Thyme

1 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp ground Sage

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbs Garlic, minced

1 tbs white sugar

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Soy sauce

1 -1 1/2 cups Mango Habanero Hot Sauce, by 1882 Fruit-based Hot Sauce 

3 green onions – finely chopped

*optional (may try a variety of chilies) 

Mix all ingredients together. Pour over scallops or chicken. Let marinade for at least 3 hours. Grill fish or meat.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Persian mackerel. A reason for a holy declaration

 This grilled or baked fish is so easy to prepare  Enjoy!!

Per whole fish 

1 Mackerel 

In a small blender or mortar and pestle:

Good pinch saffron with ice (in the mortar)

4-5 cloves garlic (1 small head)

Grind, add add,

Salt, to taste 

1 tsp Turkish Baharat 

1/4 cup pistachio(optional)

1/2 bunch chopped cilantro, including the stems

1/4 cup Barberry (aka, zereshk. Can use currants)

Drizzle olive oil 

1 tsp lemon juice 

If the mackerel is whole, easily slice open the length of the bottom of the fish, and clean and rinse. Use scissors, if wanted, to trim the fins off. 

Place the fish on parchment paper and cut a few gashes into each side. Stuff the slits with the filling, and the cavity of the fish. Let chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Place the fish, with the parchment paper, on a 450° grill, or in a 450° oven. Grill or roast, for about 20 minutes. 

Enjoy with new potatoes, grilled asparagus. 

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Kerala Naadan Mathanga Curry (coconut squash curry) and Grilled Sichuan Chicken

 I know that one is supposed to use uncooked cubed squash for this recipe, but my hands were aching and I had a lot of baked squash on hand.  Having baked squash on hand made it much faster to prepare and develop flavours.


Kerala Naadan Mathanga Curry


1 butternut squash, or other squash, peeled and cubed.  I used Blue Hubbard Squash.

3 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

2 dried mild red chilies

10 curry leaves

2-4 shallots, or 1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 chili powder (Mirchi, cayenne, or milder, not American chili powder, that also has cumin)

1 - 2 cups water

Salt, to tastes

For the Coconut paste:

1 cup shredded UNSWEETENED coconut

2 green chilies

1 cup water

  • In a blender, make a paste of the coconut, green chilies, and water.  Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the mustard seeds.  When they begin to pop everywhere, add the chilies and curry leaves.  Add the shallots or onion, and fry for 6-7 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the turmeric and chili powder.  Then the squash.  Fry and coat the squash for a couple of minutes.  Add water and salt.  Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Longer if using uncooked squash.
  • Add the coconut paste and continue cooking, stirring through. 
  • Enjoy, over rice.


 Grilled Sichuan Chicken

6 Chicken Thighs, skinned

1 tsp Sichuan Chili paste

2 tbs Hoisin

2 tbs Char Sui BBQ paste

drizzles Chinese cooking wine, Sesame oil, soy sauce

Sichuan spice blend of:  1/2 tsp each of white pepper, ground star anise, ground cloves, ground coriander, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground Sichuan peppers

Blend marinade and combine with chicken thighs.  Let marinade for a few hours.

 Heat oven to 350ºF. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Place chicken on the baking sheet, with all of the marinade.  Sprinkle optional roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and/or chopped green onions.  Roast for about an hour, until the chicken is fall off of the bone tender.